Man hit boy in car, drove away

Last updated 15:42 15/01/2014

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Hawke's Bay

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A Hawke's Bay man who drove into a five-year-old boy and drove off has been sentenced to seven months prison.

Kayzah-Shae Wairama suffered serous head injuries when he was knocked off his sister's bike on August 13.

The Flaxmere boy spent weeks in Auckland's Starship children's hospital before he was well enough to come home.

Joshua Manukapei Watson, 27, appeared in Hastings District Court today to be sentenced on a charge of failing to stop and ascertain injury.

His sentence included one month in prison on a separate charge of unlawfully getting into a vehicle.

A community outcry about the accident led Watson to hand himself in to the police days after the accident.

After initially failing to appear in court, Watson pleaded guilty.

On the night of the accident, family members were visiting Kayzah-Shae's mother Melanie Shillingford and the newest member of the family, her 3-month-old daughter.

The mother of seven told the Dominion Post she hadn't realised their driveway gate had been left open when their visitors arrived.

''We usually keep it locked, but we unlocked it while the family were here,'' Miss Shillingford said.

The whole neighbourhood heard her scream when she found her son on the road, she said.

''I had to scream to block out his screams.''

Witnesses claim they saw the car stop further down the road briefly but then it drove off without checking on the child.

Kayzah-Shae knew not to go on the road but, Miss Shillingford said, he was an active little boy who had no fear.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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